Tag Archive: kids

Sneering and Jeering

Just thought you should know…

No, nothing about football.

I walked into the kitchen and sneered at the dishes. The damned things sneered back. So I washed them and hid them in the cupboards. Cheeky blighters!

While I was making a snack, cold corned beef sandwich, Clorinha was doing the meow-I’m-starving act, so I threw a bit of gristle and meat on the floor. Eaten. Okay, another piece, only sniffed at it.

I left it on the floor, too lazy to bend down and eventually stood on it later.

Clorinha came in sniffed at it and ate it. Standing on it must have made it more flavourful… some how.

I beat the kids, I got another guava!

Later, again.

See sometimes when I say later, I mean it. 🙂

About to Blink Out

planned-obsolescence-by-james-provostYes, I have fallen victim again to planned obsolescence. My latest monitor is due to go on the blink. In fact, that is what it is doing, blinking. I’m too scared to switch it off in case it winks out and doesn’t wink on again.

My first LCD monitor winked out at 14 months, just out of the guarantee period. This one is now 15 months old.

At the time the first decided its life’s vocation wasn’t to be an LCD monitor, it couldn’t be repaired. Well, it could have been, had the part been available, but it was only supplied to assembly plants and not the public or repair shops.

Twice now when I have turned off this monitor, it has flashed and blinked at me and finally burst into life after some ten minutes. I feel the car is running on empty.

Yesterday my hard drive ran out of space. I had to do some smart reshuffling of files and then defrag. The defrag took about 12 hours. Result, 29gb of space.

I went to bed early last night, before ten. Clorinha decided it wasn’t sleep time and wanted to bounced around the bed like a Slinky. Which was all very well until she decided that my bare toes were an entertainment centre. Then she slipped, and sunk all 4,170 needle sharp claws into the soft part of my sole.

A growing kitten suspended by one claw embedded in my foot up to my eyeballs with all her weight bearing down is painful in the extreme.

The phantom cat strikes again! If she does that again, she might well be a phantom cat. Don’t worry, she won’t; all was forgiven when she woke me this morning boomping my face.

Oh, wait, she only has four claws… 4,170 is the number of toxic substances in cigarettes. Think about this, if milk has 9,000 +/-, maybe we should take kids off milk and let them smoke…

The centennial lightbulb

The centennial light bulb

Back to this planned obsolescence theme. Did you know that there is an incandescent electric light bulb that was switched on in 1908 and has been, and still is burning continuously? That was when the American manufacturers decided to limit the life of a light bulb to 15,000 hours, at first, which was later reduced to 1,000 hours so they could sell more. So serious was this that it became law for all manufacturers about 1920.

This remains the case today for every product, it is designed to breakdown after so many hours or times used so that you’ll buy a new one. Cars, computers, TVs, washing machines, iPhones, everything. You can’t escape it; everything is designed to ‘have a life’ just out of the guaranteed period, then stop.

Printers, for example, actually have a chip buried in the works and programmed to tell you that your printer is broken and can’t be repaired. It just stops. One smart cookie discovered this fact, found and removed  the chip, and had another five years use. There was NOTHING wrong with the machine.

Cold night last night. Cool day today. We’re expected to have this until Tuesday.

Lunch is a choice between braised or curried sausages, steak or hotdogs. Or I might even steal some of Clorinha’s mincemeat and make a hamburger sandwich. My wine is still in the fridge from last weekend. I didn’t open it when I was struck by the dreaded lurgy. I can see the need to celebrate a return to good health.

Still to blogs to post on. Blogging right along, wine later. Oh, what a wonderful incentive.


Meanwhile, I present Destructocat… Playing in the window after attempting to destroy my passion fruit vine. (I’ll have to be quicker with the camera next time)



Where’d my post go?

I have just woken from a wonderful nap, ready to put the finishing touches to a great post, and I find that it is all a dream…

passistas-mirins-desfilam-pela-beija-flor-na-sapucai-2022012-1329725911551_956x500Meanwhile, back in reality.

Today is the first day of Carnaval.

Not the ‘big-people’s’ Carnaval, but the ‘little-people’s’. Tonight Carnaval stars with the mirins parade; the parade of the ‘little-people’. Seventeen Samba Schools will parade the kids through Sapucai, just like the real thing.

But not just here in Rio, all over the country, kids will be wiggling to the sound of samba.

But let’s back up  a little…

Earlier today I had great plans to catch up on yesterday’s PC drama, I planned to post like a crazy man, but I never got there.

The first problem was that I hadn’t realised what a daunting task it is to start XP from scratch, I became quite despondent.

Secondly, there was that wonderful smell of a churrasco (BBQ) wafting through the window, being driven by my wonderful 50cm fan, engulfing me, offering me relief from my despondency.

The only sensible thing to do was to go and investigate.

I put on my shorts, and poked my head out the gate. Sure enough they were having a BBQ at the botequim (bar) next door.

They saw me. Immediately recognising a possible participant; I was summoned… I obeyed the call. I am so weak.

I had planned grilled rump steak for lunch, it was in the fridge marinating, so a BBQ lunch wasn’t far adrift from my plans.

sauza_tequila_silverSo, I BBQed, I ate and I drank until it was my turn at the BBQ. I cooked, I ate and I drank a little more.

My bottle of Tequila made an appearance, along with the traditional lemon (green ones) and salt.

At 2pm, I decided it was time, and went home for a nap, waking at 5pm. My plans of posting like a crazy man followed me to the bar and stayed there.

Yesterday, I mentioned GMO babies, I said it was an American thing, I was wrong, it was British. I don’t feel too bad about accusing the Americans, because, let’s face it, it’s the type of thing Americans would do, but the British beat them to it this time.

I follow a cheese blog. It’s not at all cheesy, actually it is a great blog. But today a flippant remark by the blogger mentioned cheese and Papua New Guinea in the same sentence.

Now that made me wonder…

How do you equate this…


and penis sheaths…


with cheese.

So I googled it and got this…


And got a page full of blank.

Given this information, I assumed correctly that cheese and Papua New Guinea don’t mix.

Moving right along, I must make coffee. My head is still a little woozy from the excesses of earlier.


Goodwill to all men…

christmas-tree-decorations2…and the women and the kids.

For me Christmas has just started. I woke up and now have my first coffee of the day.

For most Christmas is nearly over.

It started in New Zealand (not as they said on Brazilian TV in Australia) some 20 hours ago, so the rest of the world has already celebrated, while for me it’s 9am and the day is just beginning. Only the USA and most of the Pacific region are left to begin.

I didn’t get round to posting yesterday, I was busy partaking of the Christmas spirits that were available from the botequim. There was also BBQ, so by the time that finished, I was slightly beyond blogging. Thankfully Christmas only comes around once a year.

So let me wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Did you realise that it is also Humpday today?


I made this a couple of days ago to celebrate a Humpday Christmas.

I won’t get a lot of blogging done today, I have the ex and kids coming over in a few hours for BBQ. Hopefully, the rain that has plagued us for the last few days will hold off.

Now I have a shit load of work to do, not in the least to clean out the fridge because the tray of defrosting meat overflowed and the trays at the bottom are now full of blood. Trials and tribulations.

So, I will off and tackle the necessary for a festive day.


Tastes like Chicken

“Gustatus Similis Pullus” which translates to “Tastes like chicken”


A blog that looked in on one of mine, had this link, and one part of the post captured my attention.

“This patch belongs to the U.S. Air Forces 509th bomb wing crew who flew B-2 stealth bomber test flights in the late 1940′s and early 50′s. www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/03/31/science/0401-PATCH_2.html?_r=0. I definitely think that extraterrestrial technology had much to do with secret air force air craft, and still does to this very day.

It looks like a pitch fork on the left side with a couple of lightning bolts on the right side. It looks like the stealth bomber is being grasped by an extraterrestrial.”

Check out the link above for more info.

Browsing around blogs and Google produces many and varied interesting facts. I can waste a whole day doing that.

not-stupidToday I found references to “Google makes you stupid”

Does it?

I can understand the reference to ‘information overload’, but I doubt it makes you stupid, not in the same sense as watching Faux News or CNN.

I will also agree that it has changed my reading habits, I skim over so much to get the nuts and bolts, only delving deeper when a topic is of particular interest.

Today was all planned. Ex & kids were due over for a feijoada. Time crept on and there was no answer to her cellphone; I know she has had problems with it. So I began to prepare the meal, chop and boil the salted pork, etc and in the end I had everything in the pot. About 1pm, she rang, just woke up full of flu’, make it next week.

So I had feijoada for lunch and then a nap.

Am I being spied on?

feedjPaloAltoGood question. I note that whenever I post on any of my blogs, I get visited by one of two sites; Palo Alto or Mountain View both in California within seconds of the post going live. The links are not traceable as to source nor IP.

I would not be at all surprised, given my views on almost everything American mostly being negative…

See, Google hasn’t made me stupid; yet.

Well, that does it for today. I’m off to watch the rest of the Sunday football (soccer) game.


My Life is Boring

I just read a post that clearly demonstrates just ‘how’ boring…

So, I’m going to share it with you.

The Man of Steel Story

As a child, we all idolize our parents in some form or another. Be it mannerisms, speech patterns or behaviors, for good or for bad we learn most of what we will ever learn from the environment we grow up in.

My dad was and always will be my hero and mentor. The fact he has been gone for over eight years doesn’t diminish the impact he had in my formative years. In fact, if I had to blame anyone, I would say the steady diet of Rambo movies we watched together and the fact he shared my love of comic books but secretly would never tell anyone despite the fact I knew he read them especially when he would put them back in the wrong order or subtly try to influence what I would pick up on new comic day were the largest contributing factor into my not so minimal hero complex. He too was a run to the rescue kind of guy.

As much as I often dreaded the Saturday mornings he would ask me to go to work with him when I was growing up, as I got older I began to understand it was just as much as excuse to spend time with me as it was anything else. A reason I myself would use later on as my kids got older. Once they realized they actually got paid to spend time with me they asked much more frequently to come to work with me.

I relented the one weekend and let them both come with me. My son, who by now was as big as any of my guys yet ten years younger, went with my brother and the rest of the team to finish up a small job and clean up a job site and I took my daughter with me to set up a very small cottage job. On the way there, the material delivery driver called to say he would be late showing up. I figured that gave me plenty of time to get the job started before the rest of the team showed up. I got my ladder set up and started removing the shingles before I saw my daughters head poke up over the edge of the roof.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and yes I am a terrible parent. I let her up on the roof with me. You have to understand she wasn’t going to be denied in that arms crossed over her chest, head tilted down, looking just over the top of her glasses, scowling kind of way and I really can’t say no to her. She was even more mad that I wouldn’t let her use a nail gun and actually put shingles on but I had to draw the line somewhere. I would have rather let her try to juggle flaming chain saws than have her shoot herself with one of those.

The rest of the team had shown up by this point and we were still waiting for the delivery driver. The sun had come out and turned what was once a hard packed driveway into a soupy mess and I was worried about getting my trailer stuck on the way out with it loaded down. A couple of phone calls later and we heard the crane truck rumbling down the small road. With a shake of my head at the lateness of the delivery, I watched as the five ton truck pulled into the driveway, swerved around my truck and promptly slid off the edge of the driveway and sunk up to the top of the tires into the swampy ground.

” You have got to be fucking kidding me!,” I exclaimed as I flew down the ladder to survey the damage. The truck was way overloaded with weight as not only did it have my material  but over three tons of concrete for another delivery.  My daughter was on the ground and I   walked over sure she wasn’t anywhere near the truck when they tried to move it. As I walked her away from the driveway, she looked back over her shoulder and summed the situation up quite nicely.

” Yep, they’re fucked,” She said as she reached out and took my hand. I stopped dead in my tracks and did the only thing I could. I laughed my ass off and high-fived her. Hey, its my job site not Sunday School.

I backed my large truck up and attached a couple of tow ropes to the nose of the slowly sinking truck. Using some boards I had from another job and slid them as far as we could under the tires to help with traction. With a deep sigh, I slid behind the wheel of my truck as my daughter climbed into the passenger’s seat. Her eyes were expectant and I wasn’t sure I could pull this one off. We had unloaded as much of the material as we could but the truck was still massive and very stuck. With a rumble of the engine behind me and I howl of my own engine, I snapped my truck into four-wheel drive and buried the pedal.

With a squeal of smoking tires and a groan of the tow rope, the truck shifted slightly. It wasn’t working. I turned and looked at my daughter and told her to roll down her window.

“If they would give it some fucking gas it might come out,” I sighed as I rubbed my palm on my face. Without missing a beat my daughter stuck her head out the window.

” My dad says give it some fucking gas!” she yelled.

The delivery driver busted out laughing and waved at her. I just shook my head and floored the gas again. The truck shifted and with a shuddering heave and clods of flying muck we pulled it free and out to the main road.  My daughter laughed and we high-fived again.  She called my wife at that point to come pick her up. She had enough for one day and the real excitement was over. She was bursting to tell the story and over a few tellings like all stories it became bigger. By the time she made it to school on Monday I actually think she was telling people I pulled the truck out with my bare hands. I didn’t do anything to discourage her because it’s not like many kids have dads that pull trucks out of the mud bare handed or dressed like this –


Reblogged from: The Things I See Up Here

Eating Healthy

How Lixo keeps cool on a hot day

How Lixo keeps cool on a hot day, he doesn’t like salads

It’s not something that I do often. My tastes in food border on the capricious; I like something, I eat it.

But today I decided on a salad, which was a good idea on a hot day. It would have been nice to have decent ham off the bone, but I sufficed with slices rolled together with provolone cheese; that with lettuce, tomato, onion and boiled eggs.

The thing with salads is they’re filling as you eat them, but half an hour later, one good fart and you’re hungry again.

Yes, it's one of those that require a lot of space behind it

Yes, it’s one of those that require a lot of space behind it, space that I haven’t got

This morning I managed to get the PC across to the kids, set it up for them, got my 29″ TV in return and came home.

I wasn’t sure if the TV even worked, or why the ex was giving it to me. But once I got it home and plugged in, it worked a treat. Now I have to rearrange the living room to accommodate the leviathan. Good excuse for a spring-clean.

Now I have to buy a remote for it. Maybe tomorrow when I go to pay the rent. I’m not giving up my old TV just yet, it has a remote. So the spring-clean will be tomorrow at the earliest.

Students have canceled.

Whoopie! Beer o’clock!


Baby Poop


Baby poop

Yes, that was my lunch, baby poop.

Yesterday, I went shopping after procrastinating all weekend, I finally got there so there is now food in the fridge instead of a lot of cold nothing.

One of the items I bought was mincemeat (ground beef for our American cousins) that I share with Lixo, he loves mince. My lunch today was simple, squished the mince with garlic sauce, soya sauce and tomato sauce (ketchup for Americans) and slapped long patties on the grill, served with a spicy tomato sauce and baby poop in a toasted bread roll.

I was too lazy to mix real mustard. I have it there in the cupboard, but I was doing a slap-dash lunch and that involves as little preparation as possible.

Today! I finally did something that I have been threatening to do for a long time. I bought the computer for the kids. It’s not a flash one, it’s not duo-core anything. It is a reconditioned secondhand PC. It has 1mb RAM (I paid for the upgrade, 512 today is all but useless), 40mb HD, Pentium 4, it’s internet savvy, and has a CD ROM, I’ll upgrade that to a DVD ROM later. It’s okay for kids who have never had a PC at home before. It came with a functional CRT monitor, keyboard, mouse and I bought a transformer as well. All up it cost R$330 (USD165 +/-). I’ll deliver it Sunday. So the kids will have their first PC at home.

Yesterday, after a cool weekend, it returned to hot, today is also hot. The fan was blowing hot air at 8am. It rained heavily for a half hour, and I suspect it will do the same today about 5pm. I will be safely at work then, hopefully.

Well, blogging right along.


Sunday Travel Tales

One of the trips that I did often was up the Tambopata River, a five hour journey from Puerto Maldonado which is 55kms from the Bolivian border.

Puerto Maldonado is a jungle town. At the airport, if your yellow fever isn’t up to date, you get a shot there and then

Long narrow boats that didn’t go fast along the windy river as the passengers gazed at the scenery which never really changed. The odd flash of excitement as the boat swerved to avoid a floating log or some such.

The scenery never changed, much – image: AV

We passed the odd river community, other boats carrying stuff like bananas down river.

Bananas – image: AV

Muddy cayman watched us, we watched them – image: AV


Muddy children watched us, we watched them – image: AV

Household chores, no washing machines here – image: AV


Mothers doing the washing, while the kids swam and bathed.

Other boats with passengers going downstream to Puerto Maldonado. Everybody was very friendly, everybody waved.

But the scenery was the same, the water was muddy and the river twisted and turned.

My first trip, I found interesting; the second and subsequent, merely a trip. Quite frankly it became boring.

But it was necessary, as we were on our way to spend two nights in a jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve; although the second night, we woke at 3am to take the boat back to Puerto Maldonado in the dark, only the moonlight as our guide, to get our onward flight after 8am.

Finally, we arrived and signed in at the ranger’s station, then it was onward again for another 20 minutes, a scamble up a muddy bank with makeshift steps. and…

First sight of the lodge – image: AV

That was part of the adventure, just getting there in one piece.

More on this another time.

I Waddled Home

Yes, I did, like a pregnant duck, I waddled home.

As with most arrangements and appointments in Brazil there is an aspect known as hora do Brasíl (Brazilian time). It’s an element of flexibility that suits Brazilians. Brazilians are rarely on time for an appointment, never early.

I had arranged to meet Shirley and the kids at the restaurant at 7pm, at the time of the arrangement I was to arrive about 7:15.

However, as typical for a Monday, my student cancelled for work reasons. I left home in plenty of time to have a wander around the stalls at the bus station to pick up a few trinkets, after all it was a birthday dinner for all.

My timing was perfect, I arrived at 6:59.

I’m known at this particular eatery, so a handle of frothless beer was soon at the table and I started nibbling. Actually, I was famished due to the fact that I had skipped lunch in anticipation. The chips (French fries) we close to cold, then a pizza tray floated past with lovely big shrimps; Oh yum! Had to have. Next were chicken hearts cooked in onion, nibble, nibble. Oh, and more beer.

So the time had advanced to 7:38, no sign of anyone. I rang; they were on Margarça highway in the bus, which meant another half hour at least.

Garlic pizza went past. Had to have. Little pieces of pork fillet, had to have. Another beer, mushroom pizza was on the way past, had to have.


Eventually everyone arrived. Kisses, hugs, little presents and a return to eating. I made the observation that Erick, the way he had his hair and wore his cap looked like a suntanned Neymar, the current flavour of the month in the Brazilian soccor team. Actually, Neymar is a brillant player, even Erick’s coy look when I mentioned this was just like the player.

I discovered that at six Emmylee had lost her first tooth, so she is on the way to growing up.

Eating and drinking continued, I discussed social politics of gossiped about where I used to live. The 16 year old neighbour is pregnant, her younger brother is up to no good, etc… and then it was time to go. Shirley and the kids had an hour bus trip home and I had a 5:30am wake up for class.

I didn’t sleep at all well. Thirsty from so much savoury stuff, I was up and down like a yoyo for water. Finally settling about 3am. I did not want the alarm to go off, but it did.

I can’t do these social events like I used to. The body complains. A sure sign that I am past my prime.

Later, my student has cancelled again, which means it’s beer o’clock!

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